Greybull Wyoming Ghost Fleet

Greybull Wyoming Ghost Fleet

December 2021

South Big Horn County Airport (GEY) in Greybull, Wyoming is well known to aviation enthusiasts around the world for its large collection of stored Cold War era military aircraft. The airport was home to Hawkins and Powers Aviation (H&P) for 35+ years and most of the 31 aircraft currently stored at the airport are remnants of the companyís fleet of retired firebombers and spares aircraft. The collection includes eight P2V-7ís; seven C-97/KC-97ís; six C-130Aís; three C-119ís; two DC-4/C-54ís; two M404ís; two C-82Aís; and one F-27F. In addition, there are two C-119ís; two PB4Y-2ís; one P2V-7; one Beech 18 on display at the Museum of Flight and Aerial Firefighting. Wyoming PBS has produced an interesting eight-minute video about Hawkins & Powers and the museum.

In 2002 the Hawkins & Powers suffered the catastrophic loss of two aircraft and five crewmembers. A C-130A went down in Walker, California in June 2002 after both wings separated and a month later a PB4Y-2 Privateer was lost in Estes Park, Colorado under similar circumstances. Subsequently, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) declined to renew leases on C-130A and PB4Y-2 type aircraft and in May 2004 ordered the 33 remaining large firebombers to undergo extensive testing before returning to service. This affected a number of companies that had been operating DC-4, DC-6, DC-7, P2V and P-3 aircraft. Only the P2V was able to return to service on USFS contracts.

With its firefighting contracts canceled, H&P survived until February 2006 by overhauling and repairing aircraft in its Greybull hangar facility. This wasnít enough to sustain the company, which declared bankruptcy and closed its doors on February 28, 2006 after completion of a North Carolina Air National Guard C-130 contract.
As a result of the bankruptcy, the companyís assets were liquidated, with the aircraft being offered for sale at an August 2006 auction. A number of the airworthy aircraft were sold and flown to new homes, while the majority of the aircraft remained grounded at the airport. My first visit to Greybull was in May 2003, with a return visit in July 2006 just before the auction took place. My most recent visit was in December 2021 and I have compiled an inventory of the 31 remaining aircraft. Their conditions range from hulks to near-airworthy aircraft such as C-97G N1365N. I found it interesting that it appears that only two aircraft, both P2Vs, have been scrapped at the airport since July 2006.

During the summer of 2021, the airport attempted to auction a group of the stored aircraft as scrap because the owner reportedly hadnít paid the storage fees for a considerable amount of time. The owner successfully initiated legal action to stop the auction and these aircraft are noted with an asterisk (*) in the below December 2021 aircraft inventory. While there was a hearing on November 30, 2021, as of mid-December 2021, the judge had yet to issue a ruling. Unless otherwise noted, photos were taken on the 6th and 7th of December 2021.

  • C-97G N1365N c/n 16729 Tanker #97 ex-52-2698
  • KC-97L N29862 c/n 16792 ex-52-2761
  • KC-97L N29866 c/n 16726 ex-52-2695
  • C-97G N97HB c/n 16612 ex-52-0918 (marked N97HP)
  • *KC-97L N397HP c/n 16990 ex-53-0208
  • *KC-97L N497HP c/n 17047 ex-53-0265
  • *KC-97L N972HP c/n 17132 ex-53-0350 converted to HP-B-377 by Hawkins and Powers)
  • P2V-7 N2216S c/n 726-7231 ex-BuNo 148346
  • *P2V-7 N2218A c/n 726-7243 ex-BuNo 148355
  • P2V-7 N2218E c/n 726-7246 ex-BuNo 148356
  • P2V-7 N2218Q c/n 726-7255 ex-BuNo 148359
  • *P2V-7 N8056D c/n 726-7057 ex-BuNo 140154
  • P2V-7 N122HP c/n 726-7226 ex-BuNo 148341 and N2216K
  • *P2V-7 N125HP c/n 726-7035 ex-BuNo 135588 and N4846N
  • P2V-7 N128HP c/n 726-7074 ex-BuNo 140972 and N2215G
  • *C-119F N37636 c/n 253 ex-53-8150 "Georgia Box"
  • *C-119G N8094 c/n 10994 ex-RCAF 22135 "135" markings lower wing
  • *C-119F N8505A c/n 179 ex-53-8076
  • C-130B 58-0740 c/n 282-3537
  • C-130A N132HP c/n 182-3115 ex-56-0507
  • C-130A N133FF c/n 182-3143 ex-56-0535,
  • C-130A N134HP c/n 182-3218 ex-57-0511
  • C-130A N135HP c/n 182-3166 ex-57-0459
  • C-130A N8230H c/n 182-3220 ex-57-0513
  • *DC-4 N67017 c/n 10438
  • *DC-4 N67019 c/n 10520
  • F-27F N127HP c/n 33
  • *M404 N461M c/n 14227 Ozark titles
  • *M404 N9234C c/n 14143
  • *C-82A N8009E c/n 10071 ex-44-23027
  • *C-82A N5102B c/n 10152 ex-45-57782 Interior Airways colors
  • Museum of Flight and Aerial Firefighting - Greybull, Wyoming
  • Museum of Flight and Aerial Firefighting - Greybull, Wyoming
  • PB4Y-2 N7962C c/n unk ex-BuNo 59882 Tanker #126
  • PB4Y-2 N6884C c/n unk ex-USN BuNo 59701 Tanker #127
  • C-119G N5215R c/n 10773 ex-RCAF 22108
  • C-119G N3935 c/n 10824 ex-RCAF 22113 False markings #136 on jet pod and N5216R on boom
  • P2V-7 N173AM c/n 726-7129 ex-BuNo 143173
  • C-45F N7391C c/n 8460 ex-44-87201 (July 29, 2006 photo)

    Ralph M. Pettersen
    December 2021

    Photo Credits: Ralph M. Pettersen

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  • ----Created 25 December 2021----